Winter weather is brutal on your transmission, and probably in ways that you didn’t expect. Understanding what could be making it more difficult for your car’s transmission to operate in colder weather is key to keeping your car running well in winter. At Buckeye Complete Auto Repair, we have some tips to help you understand what’s happening inside your transmission when the temperatures drop.
1. Cold Weather Makes Transmission Fluid Thicker
Transmission fluid can actually freeze, but the temperature would need to be well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. The real problem in cold weather is that your transmission fluid becomes thicker and doesn’t flow as well. What that means is that it can’t do its job as well and your transmission parts aren’t as lubricated as they need to be to function well, i.e., they aren’t as protected.
2. Cold Temps Also Shrink Transmission Parts
Another big problem is that cold temperatures cause metal to shrink. You might not be able to see a difference yourself, but that tiny bit of contraction means that there are gaps between parts that aren’t usually there. This means that it’s easy for water to get in those gaps, for transmission fluid to leak, and for parts to wear down in ways that they weren’t meant to wear down.
3. You Might Have More Trouble Shifting
Overall, you might start to notice that your car, truck, or C/SUV has more trouble shifting in cold weather for the above reasons. Whether your transmission is automatic or manual, you might start to notice new sounds or slow shifting. This can even cause you to wonder if your car’s transmission is failing. Hopefully, it isn’t. Hopefully, it’s just the frigid temperatures getting it down.
4. Water Is a Huge Problem, Especially in Your Transmission
Something to be aware of, too, is that water anywhere in your car’s major systems is a bad thing. It’s especially bad during colder weather because that water is more likely to freeze. When water freezes, it expands, which can create a lot of damage in your transmission. There only needs to be a little bit of water in the wrong place. This is one of the big reasons why transmissions are sealed.
Are you worried about your transmission in cold winter weather? You’re not alone. Contact us at Buckeye Complete Auto Care in Columbus, OH, to schedule an inspection appointment for your vehicle’s transmission. We’ll check everything out to make sure you have nothing to worry about. If there is a problem, including frozen water, we can fix it.